Common Cause Urges Congress to Support the DC FAIR Act

February 20, 2006

Dear Representative:

Common Cause urges you to cosponsor H.R. 2043, the District of Columbia Fairness in Representation Act (DC FAIR Act). The DC FAIR Act would give the citizens of the District of Columbia voting representation in the House. The bill was introduced by Representative Tom Davis (R-VA) and has both Republican and Democratic cosponsors.

We believe this bill is a fair and politically viable way of correcting an injustice that has existed for over 200 years. While several attempts have been made to provide the District with voting representation in Congress, all have failed, and there is not currently any other realistic approach to the problem.

The citizens of the District of Columbia deserve the same right that all other Americans have to be represented in Congress. DC residents pay federal income taxes, serve on juries, and die in wars to defend American democracy. DC citizens are currently serving in the armed forces in Iraq, fighting for new democratic rights for Iraqis that they do not enjoy themselves.

The DC FAIR Act is supported by the DC City Council and the Mayor. Outside of DC, a national poll conducted by KRC Research in January 2005 showed that 82 percent of Americans believe that DC residents deserve full voting representation in Congress.

There are other proposals that would give DC full voting representation in the House and Senate. Common Cause believes DC residents should have full representation, but does not believe there is any realistic opportunity to enact any such legislation. We believe that full representation in the House is an important and substantial step forward.

The DC FAIR Act recognizes that partisan political considerations have always entered into issues that are fundamentally about fairness and justice. This proposal puts those considerations aside by adding two new seats to the House, one for the District and another that will go to Utah, which barely missed gaining another seat after the last census. With the partisan considerations allayed, the issue becomes a simple one: do the more than half million Americans in the District deserve to have a vote in Congress?

Please contact Representative Davis to cosponsor H.R. 2043, the DC Fairness in Representation Act.


Chellie Pingree, President

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